American Idol Season 8- Movie Songs Performance Review

I am ready to kick it into gear.   It seems for the past few weeks American Idol Season 8 has been repeats of each other.  Danny Gokey does his thing week after week.  Adam Lambert flies from great to annoying.  Kris Allen quietly slays the show just about every week.  Matt Giraud and Anoop Desai press to prove themselves.  Lil Rounds struggles to find herself as a performer.  Quentin Tarantino was fun.  I don’t think the American Idol contestants were quite ready for his intensity.  I didn’t really like limiting the judges’ critiques.  This show needs to be 90 minutes.

Did it feel like Adam Lambert’s song lasted longer than Kris Allen’s song?  It felt that way to me.

Before we get into the American Idol Top 7 performance rankings, I want to promote the song the Kris Allen sang, “Falling Slowly”, from the movie Once.  Kara called it an obscure song?  What is up with that? First of all, it won the Acadamy Award for Best Song of 2007.   Second, this is a really great movie of a man and a woman who form a strong, truely platonic, friendship.  It is also the best movie I have ever seem about the creation of music.  Here is a snippet of the review from Christian Spotlight on Entertainment:

“The Girl leads the Guy to a music store to play piano for him. It is there that one of the most honest and incredible moments in modern cinema takes place. The guy teaches her one of his songs, and in the solitude of the little music shop, they create truly beautiful music.”

The movie is shot on the streets of Dublin so there is a significant amount of profanity.  It is concentrated at the first of the movie and trails off once the characters move out of the street settings.  If you can get over the profanity, this is a movie worth watching.

Once

American Idol Season 8 Top 7 Performance Rankings

After watching the performances again, I had a few mild surprises (see the Movie Song Live Blog).  I liked Kris Allen and Matt Giraud better than I did orignally.  I liked Allison Iraheta less than my first viewing and I continued to be perplexed by Lil Rounds.  The performances are closely grouped.  There is a signifcant gap between Kris Allen at number 1 and the next group of four performers and then another gap before we get to the bottom two.  For the most part, I disagreed with the judges.  Here are the American Idol Movie Song Perfomance Rankings:

  1. Kris Allen took my breath away.  He made subtle changes to the arrangement of this Acadamy award winning song and he sent chills down my spine.  “Falling Slowly” is one of those songs my entire family stops and listens to any time we hear it, anywhere we are.  I was worried when he said this was the song.  It is just two years old and Glen Hassard sang it with a capital S.  But Kris did it.  Without his guitar, he stood in the middle of the stage and proved he is one of the best singers on Ameican Idol Season 8.  Without dancing, he delivered a performance that drilled the song home.  Fantastic.  My wife turned to me and said, “He may win American Idol”.
  2. Matt Giraud sat at the piano and delivered my favorite Matt Giraud performance of American Idol Season 8.  First of all, “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman” is a beautiful song.  Secondly, Matt’s piano playing was spectacular.  Third, except for the break down of his falsetto at the end, I thought his vocal delivery was dead-on.  He played some parts straight and he added R&B runs to some parts and he did both well.  I disagree with the judges.  I think this worked.
  3. Danny Gokey performed Lionel Richie’s song “Endless Love”.  I don’t really like this song.  At first I thought the beginning was rough, but when I went back and listened again, Danny Gokey sang this song perfectly.  He sang a weird low register at the beginning, he blasted the big notes and he hit the falsetto beautifully.  Another great performance from Danny Gokey.
    During the mentoring session Quentin Tarantino worked with him to bring more power to the performance by controlling his hands.  It was great directing and it worked, except you could see Danny purposely battling his desire to throw his hands up.  It was subtle but the battle was raging.
    There was an odd moment during the judging when Simon was trying to criticize Danny but in a rare moment of Simon Cowell tenderness he was tring to comfort Danny through his emotional reaction to the song.  I am certain the conspiracy mongers will say that the judges are trying to fix American Idol Season 8, but this felt genuine.
  4. Adam Lambert tried to modernize  Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” with an electronic arrangement that did not work for me.  The arrangement needed to be more industrial than dance pop.  Adam has emerged as a big, confident stage performer, but he is overpraised.  He continues to “put on a show” rather than deliver a song. His singing was spectacular, if over the top, but there was no sense of danger or defiance in his delivery.
  5. Allison Iraheta sang Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”.  One of my measures of American Idol performances is, does the performance make me forget the original? I heard Steven Tyler in my head throughout the Allison’s delivery.  She garbled lyrics at spots throughout the song and she really struggled with the pitch in the middle.  Allison was able to deliver some big notes and I love her stage presence but tonight was not on par with most of what we have seen from Allison Iraheta throughout American Idol Season 8.
  6. Anoop Desai sang “(Everything I Do) I Do For You”, a Bryan Adams song from Robin Hood: Men In Tights. I think it was Anoop’s best performance of the season.  What does that tell you about Anoop Desai’s chances to win American Idol Season 8? The singing was impeccable.  The delivery was boring.  Anoop just does not have the stage presence to measure up to the American Idol performers above.
  7. Lil Rounds had the closing spot, a great song and she tried really hard.  She was just not able to pull it off.  Lil sang “The Rose” made famous by Bette Midler in the movie of the same name.  I don’t know if it was the singing or the arrangment, but it was just off.  I thought she was off key though most of the song, but my wife (who actually knows how to sing) thinks she was trying to do what she did.  What ever the reason, I didn’t enjoy it. I felt uncomfortable, even more so when Lil argued with Simon until Ryan had to cut her off.  A producer is going to take Lil Rounds and create something spectacular but American Idol Season 8 is not her time.

American Idol Season 8 Top 7 Predictions

This is really hard.  I think Matt Giraud will be safe because he will pick up mant of Scot MacIntyre’s votes.  I have a hard time beliving that both Allison Iraheta and Lil Rounds would be in the bottom 3.  Kris Allen delivered the best performance of the night.  Most people believe Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert are untouchable. But I guess now is the time for hard choices and surprises.

Bottom Three: Anoop Desai, Lil Rounds ,Allison Iraheta

Bottom Two : Anoop Desai, Lil Rounds

Going home: Anoop Desai

The judges will not use their “save” on Anoop or Lil.  I think they would use it on anyone else that was elminated.

I know you had your favorite moments from tonight.  Download them from iTunes below

Apple iTunes

Comments

  1. S Weibel says:

    Just curious what your music background is, Chuck. Your comments, especially for cinema night, are so dead on. I read them, see things I hadn’t seen before, and then say, “Wow, that is so true.” Anyhow, nice job. I check in on ya every week.

  2. Wow…listening back to Danny’s song today, it’s even more beautiful than I remembered it being. Yes, I’d love to see him step outside his box just a little, but on the other hand I have to say “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I could sit and listen to him sing all day. Just beautiful.

  3. chuck says:

    S Weibel

    Sorry it took me so long to respond. It is tax day.

    Thank you for the compliment. My background is more like Quentin Tarantino’s than Randy Jackson’s. I am a lifelong music addict and I truly do like everything. My music collection is in the thousands of cd’s and lp’ and I have been to maybe a thousand shows. I was raised on the deep Memphis soul music of the 60′s and 70′s that flowed from my transistor radio as I did my homework and the Nashville country that blasted from my parents stereo. When you hear Marty Robbins walking through the kitchen to settle down into a Sam and Dave listening part in your room, you become an addict.

    Go to our November archives and read “Christian Music Saved Us” to get more insight into my music views. We appreciate you reading what we do. Your comment was a real encouragement on a difficult day (tax day and all).

  4. chuck says:

    Sorry Cindy, I love Danny too but his act is starting to sound monotonous. He really needs to do something crazy, quickly. That way if he stumbles and is voted off, the judges will save him.

  5. nice to see some other nice feedback..you do a terrific job Chuck. I’m going to be lazy and post my myccm thoughts:

    ————————————————————————————————-

    Rough night for me..for starters, I hate the movies that mentor Quentin Tarantino does, and I think he has no business being a music mentor. Then they only have 2 judges giving their opinions for each contestant. That is against everything Idol stands for! If you don’t have time make it a 75 minute show for pete’s sake. It’s the #1 show in America..you make the rules for the time Idol!!

    On top of that there wasn’t a single A performance. I wanted to download an album worth of songs off of itunes and I have been stuck on 8 songs for the entire season for the last 2 weeks. I’m also depressed that the next 6 weeks are going to be a coronation to Adam and his rightful throne of the Idol kingdom…give me a break! yuck. I know a lot of you love him and that’s cool, but to me this is the most disapointing season since fantasia’s season 3 win…despite the record number of Christians on the show this year.

    I can’t even give an order of how I liked the songs..the night was filled with B performances. I will probably end up liking Kris Allen’s song “Falling Slowly” best after I play it a time of two. I have a feeling the studio cut will be nice to that. I just never heard the song before. Allison was true to herself but her version of “I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing” was a pale comparision to David Cook’s last year. Danny Gokey was solid with “Endless Love”, but all I could think of was Sean Hannity playing that song in the background of the liberal media gushing over Obama. Anoop was actually the one I enjoyed the most with “Everything I Do” but it probably bored most people, he sticks to ballads every week. Lil’s The Rose was kind of nice in the middle, but overall weak and snapping at Simon looked childish. Matt took all the melody out of “If You really Ever Loved a Woman”. That leaves Adam and his indulgent postering and vocals gymnastics of “Born to be Wild.” Of course the public will like it best. Give the man his props, he could be the lead singer in any rock group he wanted right now.

    This will be a tough week to predict who gets voted off. Allison gets the lousy opening slot which hurts. Lil deserves to go but her diva fan base might still save her for one more week. Anoop was pretty good but he doesn’t have Scott to bail him out this week. I think Matt may be the one in the most trouble though. I think only Danny and Adam are safe.

    —————————————————————————————-

    Now i agree that Kris was the bomb last night. My pick to go is Matt, I don’t agree with you an his performance, and Allsion second and anoop third. Hopefully Kris can overcome being on the bottom of dial idol for the second straight week.

  6. Rain says:

    I wish Kris’ Falling Slowly never ends…..haunting and beautiful.

    I enjoyed reading your article. Thank you very much.

  7. Rain says:

    Hi Chuck,

    I saw the movie “Once” DVD last Sunday. I watched twice and still loved it. The music was great.

    I had a crazy idea and liked to share with you. IF the male leading role was played by Kris, that girl would follow him everywhere he went (I would). LOL

    Vote for Kris tonight!

  8. Rafael says:

    You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the best blogs on the web.
    I will recommend this web site!

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